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Jigsaw taps former Karen Millen chief as new CEO

By Huw Hughes


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Image: Jigsaw

British fashion retailer Jigsaw has reportedly confirmed the appointment of former Karen Millen chief executive Beth Butterwick as its new CEO.

Butterwick joined Jigsaw in 2020 as a consultant operating partner and stepped into the CEO role in May this year, Drapers reports.

Prior to joining Jigsaw, Butterwick spent three years at the helm of Karen Millen before exiting in 2019 after the brand was acquired by Boohoo.

Earlier in her career, she was brand director at Bonmarché, during which time she spearheaded the retailer’s sale to Sun Europe LLP private equity, and earlier still she held senior roles at Marks & Spencer and Gap.

New CEO at Jigsaw

The news comes just weeks after reports emerged that Jigsaw could be taken upmarket after receiving a 27 million pound takeover offer.

The retailer, which is majority-owned by Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross, received an indicative offer from investor Henrik Madsen, The Sunday Times reported.

Madsen is the CEO of retail and brand consultancy HMJ International, and also spent almost 12 years as the Northern Europe managing director of designer outlet group McArthurGlen.

At the time of the report, a sale process had not begun, according to sources, and it was unsure how Madsen would fund the deal.

He is reportedly seeking investor backing to take Jigsaw upmarket, invest in online and grow its licensing arm.

Jigsaw called in advisers to run a strategic review of the company last summer, with KPMG overseeing rent negotiations with landlords and Cavendish Corporate Finance working on a potential sale process or the recruitment of a new external investor.

It came after the company was hit hard by the pandemic, revealing in February that it lost around 31 million pounds in sales during lockdowns.

The company was also forced to close almost half of its stores as part of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), with its remaining stores switching to turnover-based rents.

Karen Millen